Rockies 1, Blue Jays 0
Jason Hammel is proving he’s a solid second act to Ubaldo
Hammel pitched eight sharp innings and scored the only run and
the Colorado Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 Saturday night
in a rare low-scoring game at Coors Field.
It was only the ninth 1-0 game at Denver since the ballpark
opened in 1995. The previous one came last July 6 when the Rockies
beat Washington. The Rockies are 6-3 in 1-0 games at Coors
“If you’re going to win 1-0 there’s no room for error,”
Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “From the pitching and defense
side, there was no error. We were perfect.”
Pitching in 50-degree weather, Hammel (4-3) was masterful all
night. He allowed just three hits, struck out six and walked three
in his longest outing of the season. He is 4-1 with a 2.41 ERA
since coming off the disabled list May 15 with a strained right
“I’m happy for him,” catcher Miguel Olivo said. “He’s got all
the pitches working. We used all of them today.”
Hammel has come on strong after starting the season 0-2 with a
9.16 ERA in his first four starts.
“This is the Jason Hammel we had for the entire spring
training,” Tracy said. “It’s really good to see. He’s got great
stuff and tonight his slider was terrific and his fastball command
to both sides of the plate was terrific.”
Hammel’s last six starts have followed Jimenez, who leads the
majors with 12 wins and a 1.16 ERA. Pitching behind the team ace
has energized Hammel.
“When one guy goes out and pitches really well, obviously you
want to follow with a good outing yourself,” he said. “That’s how
momentum builds and teams go on winning streaks.”
Hammel provided the lone run in the sixth. He led off with a
walk, went to third on Todd Helton’s one-out single and scored on a
sacrifice fly by Carlos Gonzalez.
“I’ve got to do everything here,” Hammel said with a
Manuel Corpas worked around a hit in the ninth for his eighth
saves in 10 chances.
Fred Lewis had a double and walked twice for the Blue Jays.
The Rockies threatened again in the seventh. Olivo led off with
a double down the left-field line to finish Toronto starter Brandon
Morrow (4-5). Reliever David Purcey retired Ian Stewart on a popup
and intentionally walked Clint Barmes. After Hammel put down a
successful sacrifice bunt, Jonathan Herrera grounded out.
Morrow allowed five hits, walked three and struck out six.
“He did everything he could,” Toronto manager Cito Gaston
said. “The only mistake he made was walking the pitcher. He had no
Hammel had a lot to do with that. Lewis was the only runner to
reach third and the Rockies pitchers held the Blue Jays to four
“We’re a better hitting team than this,” first baseman Lyle
Overbay said. “I think their staff is learning how to pitch here.
You don’t see many sliders or curveballs here and when you do, they
are breaking a lot.”
Both teams had chances to score early. Lewis opened the game
with a double off Ryan Spilborghs’ glove in left field but was
stranded at third when Vernon Wells popped out to first to end the
Hammel said the tape around his right groin bothered him in the
first inning, but after getting out of the jam he was able to get
the leg rewrapped and settled down.
Helton doubled to lead off the fourth, just missing a home run
when his ball bounced off the top of the right-center field wall
and back into play. Helton was cut down at third trying to advance
on Gonzalez’s groundout.
NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki was scratched from the lineup
with a sore right groin. … Colorado has eight shutouts as a team
this season. … The Rockies agreed to terms with 11 players they
selected in the 2010 draft, including 1B Mark Tracy, son of
Colorado manager Jim Tracy.